Ann McCrory, who normally leaves the politics to her husband, released a statement Wednesday supporting House Bill 930.
“… Passing legislation to establish basic standards of care for large commercial dog breeding facilities is a very important issue to me, and to people across our state,” she wrote.
“ … I hope you and other members of the General Assembly will continue to advocate for this bill, and other legislation establishing higher standards for commercial breeders. These policies increase our quality of life in North Carolina and ensure better care for dogs across the state…”
The bill sets basic standards of care for operations that use more than 10 females for breeding.
Many say it is a watered-down version of previous attempts to pass a puppy mill law, but add that the compromise is better than nothing in a state some breeding operations have been relocating to in an attempt to avoid regulation.
“North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without puppy mill laws,” explained Caleb Scott, President of North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare told Fox 8 News. “We are a puppy mill destination in North Carolina because we have no laws on the books. Puppy millers gravitate to our state.”
The minimum standards required by the bill, as it has been amended, would notapply to breeders of hunting dogs, sporting dogs, field dogs, or show dogs.
It now heads to the Senate.
WRAL described Ann McCrory’s letter as her “first foray into public advocacy” since her husband took office.
The McCrory’s have a Labrador Retriever named Mo.
(Photo: Erin Hull / The Daily Tar Heel)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 930, animal welfare, animals, basic, breeders, care, conditions, dog breeders, dogs, exemptions, first lady, house bill 930, hunting dogs, law, north carolina, pat mccrory, pets, politics, proposal, proposed, puppy mills, requirements, show dogs, standards
The American Kennel Club is doing a much better job of protecting bad breeders than it is protecting dogs.
That’s the gist of this investigative report that aired yesterday on NBC’s “Today” show
The accusations aren’t exactly new, and weren’t exactly uncovered by NBC, but it’s good to see the issue getting some national attention.
The AKC, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, calls itself ”the dog’s champion …
“But critics say there’s an ugly reality you don’t see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It’s so disturbing that now two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.”
The report included an interview with one dog owner, who purchased a Great Dane from a kennel only weeks after that kennel was inspected by the AKC and found in compliance. The puppy turned out to have intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect.
“Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs,” Rossen reported.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is featured heavily in the report, and makes the point that the AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs instead of protecting bad breeders and fighting laws that would crack down on them.
AKC Director of Communications Lisa Peterson, also interviewed for the report, says she would give the AKC an “A” for its inspection program.
But when the reporter asked how many breeders are producing AKC-registered dogs, she said, “That’s a great question. We don’t know.” And when asked what percentage of AKC registered breeders end up getting inspected, she wouldn’t offer a ball park figure.
“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”
“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”
“… I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”
Peterson said there are nine AKC inspectors in the U.S. Asked “Do you think that’s an adequate number?” she said, ”That’s the number that we have.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, aspca, breeders, breeding, club, conditions, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society, humane society of the united states, inspections, investigative, jeff rossen, kennel, laws, legislation, nbc, news, pets, report, today, today show, wayne pacelle
It may not be a model puppy mill law. It could even be described, and has been, as “watered down.” But after repeatedly failing to pass legislation regulating large commercial breeders, North Carolina lawmakers will again consider a measure to ensure dogs in such facilities are treated humanely.
House Bill 930, which made it through a first reading this week and is now before a committee, would require breeders with 10 or more breed-able females to provide their dogs with basic necessities, such as food, water, sunlight, exercise and veterinary care.
But it would not require breeders to register, be licensed or submit to regular inspections.
“We hope that all parties can be happy with it,” said Kim Alboum, state director of the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s been a four-year battle to get to this point of this compromise bill. We just hope that this bill will move forward this year.”
You can read the bill here.
The bill was introduced last week by Rep. Jason Saine, a Republican. Breeders found to be in violation of the requirements in the bill could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined from $25 to $1,000.
“This bill protects both dogs and consumers,” Saine said. “Our citizens have made it clear that they are no longer willing to tolerate animal cruelty in the dog breeding industry, and neither am I or my colleagues who support this bill. This legislation will help protect dogs in North Carolina commercial dog breeding facilities by requiring operators to adhere to these basic standards of care.”
The HSUS estimates there are about 200 commercial dog breeding facilities in North Carolina, all operating without any oversight. Last August a raid at one in Brunswick County led to the rescue of about 160 dogs, including 70 puppies and their nursing mothers living in stacked cages in a structure with no working air conditioning.
That was one of 13 large-scale breeding operations in North Carolina that, in the past 18 months, the HSUS has and law enforcement officials have removed dogs from, due to illnesses, injuries and lack of humane care, Saine said.
From 2 to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States — commonly in pet stores and online — while 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year for lack of homes, the Humane Society estimates.
Saine said the bill gives law enforcement the tools to go after those who abuse dogs by spelling out what is required of large-scale commercial breeders.
The bill requires dogs have access to food, water, clean bedding, sunlight, and exercise on a daily basis. It mandates the health of dogs be monitored, veterinary care be provided, and that any euthanizations be performed humanely. It specifies that cages be at least big enough for dogs to stand up and turn around in. It doesn’t ban wire flooring, but requires it to be solidly in place and of a type that doesn’t hurt dogs’ feet.
While the legislation under consideration this session doesn’t go as far as previous proposals, most animal welfare advocates in the state have gotten behind it, including North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare, Susie’s Law, the ASPCA, Humane Society of Charlotte, SPCA of Wake County, and United Animal Coalition.
Previous efforts to pass a puppy mill law ran into opposition from pig and poultry farmers and hunting dog owners, wary that the measures could extend to them. The new bill specifies that it does not apply to dogs used for hunting purposes.
A recent poll commissioned by the ASPCA showed 87 percent of North Carolina voters are in favor of the state legislature passing a law that would set standards of care for North Carolina’s commercial dog breeding facilities.
“Puppy mill operators want to keep their costs down and their profits up, and nothing short of a legal mandate will convince them that they must treat the animals in their care more humanely,” said Ann Church, vice president of state affairs for the ASPCA. “North Carolina voters care about this issue and expect a strong puppy mill bill to pass this year…”
(Photo: One of the dogs seized in the Brunswick County puppy mill raid, after being transferred to a shelter in Guilford County / DigTriad.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bill, breeders, brunswick county, care, commercial, compromise, conditions, dog, dogs, hb 930, house bill 930, hsus, humane society of the united states, introduced, jason saine, large, large scale, law, legislation, legislature, north carolina, pets, proposal, puppy mills, raid, standards
Here’s another silly app my dog and I can live without.
Fujitsu Ltd., a Japanese company, is launching a “pet management service” that allows dog owners to monitor on their cellphones their dogs’ every step, their stress levels, and even the surrounding temperature.
The electronics company calls the product Wandant — a combination of “wan wan” (a Japanese term for dog) and the word “pendant,” which is what the monitored dog wears around its neck to transmit the information via the Internet.
It’s about half an ounce and the size of a business card.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the service is another step in Japan’s long-running fascination in better understanding their pets.”
Though not quite as far-fetched as “Bowlingual,” touted by toy company Takara as a dog-to-human translation device, Wandant, claims it can provide dog owners with a series of graphs showing everything from how many steps a dog has taken to when he’s feeling itchy.
“Consumers can also manually add information such as how much food the dog ate or when it went to the bathroom to help manage its weight, while also keeping a daily diary of that day’s activities,” according to the WSJ report.
Customers can use their Android smartphones — its’ not yet available as an iPhone app — to check their dog’s up-to-the-minute profile.
The company described the motivations for making product in a press release:
“Given the demographic shifts in modern Japan, where there are fewer children and more people living longer, as well as a growing number of single-member households, pets have become increasingly important as family members and companions … The aging of pets and their care, as well as problems such as obesity, are becoming increasingly prominent issues. In response, Fujitsu developed the Wandant-based cloud service to support health monitoring in dogs.”
It went on the market Wednesday, but only in Japan.
(Photos: From Fujitsu’s website)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, animals, app, apps, cloud, collar, conditions, device, dog, dogs, fujitsu, graphs, internet, iphone, itchy, japan, japanese, monitor, owners, pedometer, pendant, pets, smartphone, steps, stress, technology, temperature, wandant, worn
Sixty-five chained dogs, believed to be part of a dogfighting operation, were seized on Thanksgiving in Tennessee after firefighters discovered them when responding to a brush fire.
The dogs — mostly pit bulls and beagles — were removed from the property in Ashland City by Cheatham County Animal Control and the Animal Rescue Corps, a non-profit animal protection organization.
“We believe this is the largest dog fighting rescue in Tennessee history,” said ARC president Scotlund Haisley. He described the conditions the dogs were living in as “the worst I have ever seen at a dogfighting operation in my 22 year career in animal protection.”
The dogs were underweight, without food and fresh water and some had sores covering their bodies, officials said.
Animal control officials identified dog fighting equipment, such as a treadmill, fighting pen, and a spring pole used for strengthening dogs’ jaws.
All the animals on the property were taken to an emergency shelter outside of Nashville, where they will be assessed before being transported to rescue centers around the country.
Also taking part in the rescue were New Leash on Life, a shelter in Lebanon, Tenn.; Agape Animal Rescue out of Nashville; the Nashville Zoo and the Tennessee State Highway Patrol.
(Photos: Animal Rescue Corps)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 65, animal control, animal rescue corp, animals, ashland city, beagles, chained, cheatham county, conditions, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, fire, pets, pit bulls, seized, tennessee
The Humane Society of the United States has released a report calling on the American Kennel Club to protect dogs from abuses at puppy mills.
The report accuses the AKC of “pandering to the interests of large-scale, commercial breeding facilities,” even though ”smaller-scale, high-quality breeders” make up the majority of its membership.
Numerous puppy mill operators who have been charged with animal cruelty have been selling AKC registered puppies and some of them even passed AKC inspections, the report notes.
“The American Kennel Club bills itself as ‘The Dog’s Champion,’ but our report shows a pattern of activity that is entirely at odds with that self-description,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
“The AKC has opposed more than 80 bills and proposals in the last five years that would have implemented common-sense, humane standards of care at large-scale breeding facilities. We are shocked that a group that should be standing shoulder to shoulder with us is constantly lined up with the puppy mill industry.”
The report is based on information uncovered during HSUS-assisted raids of puppy mills, AKC “alerts” sent to breeders, materials published on AKC’s website, and AKC’s lobbying activities over the past five years.
In just the past six months, AKC-registered dogs were among those removed from three puppy mills in raids conducted by authorities in North Carolina, HSUS says.
In 2012 alone, AKC asked its supporters to oppose laws in several states that would have required puppy producers to comply with basic care standards; legislation in three states that would have prevented the debarking of dogs without a medical reason; an ordinance in a Tennessee town designed to prevent dogs from being left in hot cars; a Rhode Island state bill to prevent people from chaining or crating a dog for more than 14 hours a day; and a Louisiana state bill that would have prevented breeding facilities from keeping dogs in stacked, wire-floored cages.
The HSUS report discloses that some puppy mills that had been inspected by AKC but were still the subject of law enforcement-led rescues – with their operators later convicted of animal cruelty based on the poor conditions of their dogs.
Most recently, AKC has been lobbying breeders to oppose a proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that would regulate Internet puppy sellers under the federal Animal Welfare Act.
The HSUS report calls on AKC to distance itself from the large-scale, commercial dog-breeding industry and return to its original focus of representing small, responsible breeders who have the welfare of their dogs as their top priority.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, conditions, critical, criticizes, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspections, internet, large scale, laws, legislation, opposition, pets, puppy, puppy mills, regulation, report, sales, standards, wayne pacelle
Skechers has released a sneak preview of its upcoming Super Bowl ad, filmed at a greyhound racing park.
“Get a first look at Mr. Quiggly, the tiny French Bulldog with the heart of a champion, in his SKECHERS GOrun 2012 Big Game commercial,” a publicist for the company wrote in an email. “How will Quiggly find an edge to help him race on Game Day? Watch the preview to see his secret weapon in action!”
Meanwhile, the anti-greyhound racing group Grey2KUSA continues to fire away with its own not-so-secret weapon — a boycott of the shoe company, with protest rallies being held this weekend across the country.
Grey2KUSA says the ad glorifies a sport that is harmful to greyhounds, and points out that it was filmed at one of the country’s most injury-plagued greyhound parks.
Skechers vaguely refers to the “controversy” over the ad in its email: “There has been a lot of talk about Skechers’ new commercial… With a four-legged celebrity taking center stage this year, the campaign has definitely stirred up some controversy, but Skechers believes the spirit of the ‘underdog’ will be a big winner on Game Day.”
In the ad, filmed at Tucson Greyhound Park, a Skechers-wearing French bulldog outraces a group of greyhounds. The ad also features billionaire technology mogul and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
The ad will be aired during the Super Bowl on February 5.
Grey2K coordinated a series of protests this weekend, all held in front of Skechers stores and other outlets at which the shoes are sold.
“No Skechers” events were scheduled this weekend in Tucson, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Boston, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and at locations in Florida, Colorado and Michigan.
“Tucson Greyhound Park’s greyhounds are kept confined in small cages which are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are fed raw 4-D meat, the meat of downed, diseased, disabled or dead livestock. These conditions were documented in recent inspections by Pima County investigators and by a GREY2K USA undercover video first released in 2010,” the organization says.
Additionally, the state of Arizona documented nearly 1,000 injuries in the last reported years of 2007- 2009, including broken legs, sprains, dislocations, muscle tears and strains, lacerations, a cracked skull, broken backs, heat stroke, puncture wounds and paralysis.
“Instead of promoting such cruelty, companies should be asking for it to end,” Grey2K says.
More information can be found at boycottskechers.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, boycott, commercials, conditions, cruelty to animals, demonstrations, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound racing, greyhounds, injuries, mr quiggly, pets, protest, quiggly, skechers, super bowl, tucson greyhound park, woof in advertising
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
Since June of this year, four large scale dog breeding operations in North Carolina have been busted and more than 500 dogs seized as a result.
While that may sound like the state is making some gains in the fight against puppy mills, it raises another possibility as well.
Are tough new puppy mill laws in surrounding states leading unscrupulous breeders to move their operations to North Carolina, where the laws are more lax?
A recent investigation by NBC 17 asked that question — even if it didn’t entirely nail down the answer.
Since June 1, the report says, puppy mill busts have taken place in Hertford, where 86 dogs were seized; in Zebulon (25 dogs seized); Lincoln County (about 135 dogs); and in Caldwell County (276 dogs).
And while no documentation is provided that those breeders had fled to North Carolina from other states, Kim Alboum, the Humane Society’s state director, says it is happening.
“There are approximately 19 states that now have some level of regulations for commercial dog breeders, whether it’s licensing or standards,” she said. “And around North Carolina, we now have Virginia [that] has passed regulation. So we are seeing some breeders coming down to North Carolina from Virginia.”
Alboum says she has also seen breeders migrate from Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
She blames current North Carolina laws that fail to set high enough standards for breeding operations. So does Pricey Harrison, a state representative who tried to get puppy mill legislation passed last year.
“Apparently our neighboring states have pretty decent laws in place to prevent animal cruelty and protect animal purchasers from these puppy mills,” Harrison said. “We don’t, so we’re apparently a magnet for these dog breeders.”
Harrison sponsored a puppy mill bill in the 2009-10 legislative session that passed the House but died in the Senate. She said the bill was opposed by the Pork Council, the Farm Bureau, the American Kennel Club and the NRA.
“Every time we have animal cruelty legislation, it’s the same players that arise in opposition. It’s a combination of campaign money and membership pressure.”
Senate President Pro-Temp Phil Berger, who voted against the bill, says the wording of the proposed puppy mill law was too vague, and that it could have had unintended consequences on other industries.
No new puppy mill bills have been introduced, although the state did act to allow local governments to pass breeding regulation laws, such as one recently adopted in Guilford County.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attracting, breeders, breeding, busts, caldwell county, conditions, dog, dogs, hertford, humane society, kim alboum, laws, lax, legislation, legislature, lincoln county, magnet, moving, north carolina, pets, pricey harrison, puppy mills, raids, regulations, restrictions, seized, states, surrounding, zebulon
The woman who oversaw the revamping of dog law in Pennsylvania — helping the state shed its image as the puppy mill capital of the East – has been replaced as the state’s top dog law enforcement officer.
With a banker.
Jessie Smith, who was appointed by former Gov. Ed Rendell in 2006 to rewrite regulations for commercial breeding operations, is out.
Lynn Diehl, a former banker, is in. She’ll serve as director of the newly created Dog Law Enforcement Office.
Smith, a 20-year veteran of the state attorney general’s office when she was named special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement, oversaw dramatic changes in the way commercial breeding kennels are regulated in Pennsylvania, and helped put scores of substandard operations out of business.
The appointment of Diehl, with a relative lack of dog credentials, alarmed some, who fear the progressive steps underway in Pennsylvania could take a back seat to collecting revenue.
A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett, who is awaiting the delivery of two Airedale terriers as family pets, said the state remains commited to dogs. (New appointee Diehl has a dachshund.)
Smith was reassigned to the governor’s office of general counsel, where she will work with the Agriculture Department.
“Obviously, getting the kennels in compliance is a top priority, but there are a lot of other areas in dog law and in general with dogs in Pennsylvania that may have been put on a side burner and really need some attention too,” Mike Pechart, executive deputy secretary of the Department of Agriculture, is quoted as saying in an Associated Press article.
One of the areas needing attention, he pointed out, is the state’s Dog Law Restricted Account, which is funded mainly by dog license fees and pays for enforcement. The account is running out of money because too few dog owners comply with state licensing requirement.
Pechart said Diehl’s financial background “will be critical for the bureau.” Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek June 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, breeding operations, commercial, compliance, conditions, dog, dog law, dogs, ed rendell, enforcement, fees, jessie smith, kennels, licensing, lynn diehl, officer, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, replaced, revenue, top